To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to main content

Girls at Bat

Jays Care Foundation is working toward a level playing field where all Canadian children and youth have access to the tools they need to thrive and succeed. One way we are working to achieve this tremendous goal is through Girls at Bat.

The Current Context

The statistics are bleak. We know that girls who have active childhoods are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. We know they have stronger immune systems, stronger bone and muscle structure, and are less likely to develop heart disease. In addition, research has shown that active children have the ability to concentrate much better, and that exercise decreases anxiety, reduces depression, and improves mood and outlook in children. In addition, their quality of sleep is improved.

Perhaps most importantly, physical activity develops children's self-esteem and confidence. Their ability to overcome challenging situations improves and they simply enjoy a better, sunnier outlook on life. In addition, our adolescent children can develop further social skills such as leadership and empathy.

And yet, statistics show that 41 percent of girls between ages 3 and 17 don't participate in sports, and 84 percent of adult women don't participate in sports at all. We know that if a girl hasn't participated in sport by age 10, there is only a 10 percent chance that she will be physically active as an adult.

It's time to curb these trends. It's time to help set up systems, programs and passion for sport and play among females across the country. Girls need sports and more female role models practicing and coaching them in sports to ensure that they live long and healthy, active lives. Girls at Bat is designed to be a spark that ignites that passion in communities across the country.

What is Girls at Bat?

Girls at Bat is Jays Care's girls-only baseball program designed for and with girls and women. The program is specially designed to make both playing and coaching feel fun and safe enough that girls and women who would normally sit on the side-lines or not even go near the field, have the courage to try. Once on the field, the program delicately weaves fun and challenging baseball drills and skills with vital self-esteem, team-building and personal health activities to ensure that all participants gain far more than baseball skills through the program.

The program is designed to be delivered over the course of four days as listed below:

  • Day 1 and 2: Workshop: Coaching and empowerment workshop for women in the community (front-line workers, coaches and volunteers) who want to run reliable programming for girls. (8-12 hours in total)
  • Day 3 and 4: Clinic: Girls-only baseball and female empowerment clinic for girls ages 6 to 16 years old. The clinic is facilitated by Jays Care baseball clinicians and the newly trained female community coaches. (8-16 hours in total)

What outcomes does this program seek to achieve?

The program is designed to have profound short- and long-term outcomes for both girls and women involved. These include:

For Girls:

  • Increased self-esteem and awareness of positive body image
  • Enhanced baseball and physical literacy skills
  • Enhanced connection and commitment to regular physical activity
  • Enhanced relationships to peers
  • Increased connections to positive female role models
  • Increased likelihood of living a physically active life

For Female Coaches:

  • Enhanced passion and commitment to be female role models in sport and play
  • Increased confidence in planning, leading and assessing positive girls-only programming
  • Enhanced skills in leading outcome-based programs for girls
  • Enhanced baseball coaching skills
  • Enhanced self-esteem and body image workshop facilitation skills

For Communities:

  • Increased number of accessible and reliable baseball and self-esteem building programs available for girls
  • Increased number of girls participating in regular sport programming
  • Increased number of women in sport leadership and coaching positions through sport on their communities

What does the program involve?

In order to ensure that the Girls at Bat experience is profound for the girls involved, Jays Care devotes significant time, expertise, training and coaching to the local women who are the key implementers of the program. Here is what we do:

NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

Volunteers and/or organizations who are interested in hosting a Girls At Bat clinic apply on line. The application seeks to help us better understand the assets and needs of the organization/community and determine if they are a priority for selection. Both urban centers and remote/isolated communities are invited to apply. The reach in each community will vary because of this-in urban centers the potential number of participants will be much greater than in smaller isolated communities.

 

PROGRAM DESIGN:

Jays Care staff work with each selected applicant to design a tailor-made Girls at Bat coaching workshop for women coaches and a simultaneous Girls at Bat players clinic for local girls that reflects their unique needs.

 

TRAINING & CURRICULUM:

Local youth and adults who are committed to coaching girls in baseball regularly, can access a two-day coaches training that Jays Care facilitates in partnership with the Plan Canada. Local girls and young adults can access a two-day dynamic clinic. This hands-on clinic allows Jays Care Clinicians and newly trained coaches to teach local girls a wide range of baseball and life skills using fun and inclusive drills, games and activities. Concurrently, Jays Care and Plan Canada staff lead a variety of team-building, leadership and health-based activities to enhance the experience and the learning of all girls involved in the program.

 

REQUIRED ENABLERS:

Funding for one year to help initiate a viable Girls at Bat program and culture within a community. Access to essential baseball equipment for young girls and female youth to engage in the program.

 

RELIABLE PROGRAMMING:

A commitment to implementing a minimum 10 two-hour Girls at Bat practices for 20 or more girls.

 

ONGOING COACHING:

Coaching and feedback from our skilled and supportive staff team are offered on-site during the clinic and by phone year-round.

 

MEASURE OUTCOMES & ADJUST:

Using child-friendly measurement tools, we work with partners to assess the successes and challenges of each Girls at Bat clinic and on-going programming in an effort to ensure that we are always growing and improving the quality of our programs

 

How can you get involved?

There are many ways to get involved with Girls at Bat. Here are few ways to step up to the plate:

  1. Apply for your organization or community to host a Girls at Bat program.
  2. Help us fund more opportunities for children and youth to access Girls at Bat.